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Robin Robinson - Citizen Columnist

Twice as many plants available at this year’s Garden Club fall sale

Propagation at the Key West Garden Club has a tropical variety of both exotic and native plants for sale at West Martello on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24. Orchids are available from Sorea Orchid growers to delight the collectors of Key West. February, before their spring growth begins, is the best time to fertilize orchids.[…]

Local experts cure Irma-titus with variety of plants

Because so many gardens were destroyed with Hurricane Irma, the Key West Garden Club has altered its home tour to be a tour of the sunny, newly replanted West Martello gardens. The cost is $5. Individual experts, stationed in each garden will describe the nature of the garden and the plants within. The garden is[…]

Atmospheric soriee features enhanced garden photography

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Nicholas Bergery and his Magic Lantern Lights will create verdant visual images of the gardens and the views of the atmosphere at West Martello’s Soiree from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A veritable vision on Valentine’s Day is a seductive way to begin a romantic evening. The landscape photographs will take your[…]

Botanical painting: More than pretty flowers

The wide diversity of plant species slows artists to draw an infinite variety of the 300,000 plants already identified. Estimates are that another 100,000 are still undiscovered. Painting these species involves more than art, but includes history, culture and medicinal properties.  “As long as drawing has existed, artists have been interested in these images,” according[…]

Polyrhythmic palms find a home in our homes

The well-known parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) invaded the United States in the 1930s, sneaking its way up from the Yucatan in Mexico. Botanical collector William Seifriz found it near the Chichen Itza ruins. It soon became a favorite houseplant. Now, it is speculated that there are more parlor palms in living room pots than in[…]

How to keep your fresh flowers erect

“How many people know how to make a frog?” asked Ronnie Rupe from Gourmet Nibbles and Flowers as he spoke to the Garden Club about tropical flower arranging. No one responded, but I thought, “I know how to make a prince out of a frog,” thinking about the Fantasy Fest costumes I created a few[…]

Fran Decker and the strangler fig at the new Soiree

 The Key West Garden Club is announcing a new evening event, the Soiree, occurring three times this season, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, Feb. 14 and March 14 at West Martello Fort, 1100 Atlantic Blvd. The Soirees will celebrate the luxurious new lighting designed by Jeff Ware and installed throughout the gardens[…]

Throw out the old, bring in the new after Hurricane Irma

Many plants succumbed to Irma, but the invasive weed, the oyster plant, was not one of them. Clusters of tiny white flowers are nestled between the edges of a boat-shaped, purple pod. They bloom on and off year round. Fecund seeds are spread by the wind and as a result they grow in every available[…]

Royal Palm and Christmas Palm: Majestic versus miniature

The hundred foot tall royal palm soars in the air lofting its 20-foot head to the clouds. This big daddy palm is hardly the one to plant in the average front yard unless the front yard lines the driveway of a large estate.  It was named after Civil War Brigadier Gen. Roy Stone (Roystonea regia)[…]